Please, accept cookies in order to load the content.

"With the bed, Work, Body, Leisure presents a unique form of horizontal architecture which can be said to be entirely dedicated to uselessness. In bed, we remain in our most vulnerable state every day, a third of our lives absorbed in a dream time, while at the same time the world around us stops as a special form of grace in darkness."

But when we go to bed during the day, it becomes a deliberate action. In this line, we opted for a re-enactment of the famous bed which John Lennon and Yoko Ono occupied in their ‘bed-in’ for a week in 1969 to promote peace. “Like angels,” in the words of John Lennon, with their action they claimed the right to uselessness, as Constant did.

In the Work, Body, Leisure exhibition at the Venice Biennale, architects were invited to sit in bed for interviews. Different interpretations fight for priority. Architects in bed during the day – are they, in a derivative form of John and Yoko, detached from the world and lovingly presented as oracles? Or is their position in bed a representation of the profession as a form of paid love? Or do we recognize the patient in the architect who has to stay in bed out of weakness? Perhaps it’s a combination of all these possibilities. Only, the interpretation of the useless architect does not yet appear. That even exceeds the imagination of an architect.

"Work, Body, Leisure: all three irrevocably on the way to increasing uselessness. The same uselessness that Constant set as a condition for freedom, paving the way for the creative, playing human."

It is now quite conceivable that we really will reach that enlightened state of uselessness; ultimately, technology stands for nothing. But the freedom that it brings is not being thrown at us in the same generous manner. Technology hijacks our labour as it also catches our attention, a form of servile submission that embodies the words of Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach: “Happy slaves are the greatest enemies of freedom.”

In this light, we will no longer be able to afford the luxury of continuing to consider creativity and art as a sideshow. On the road from uselessness to freedom, creativity becomes the main issue, the only way to be independent. This is anything but self-evident, because as humans we have always been able to give meaning to our existence through all kinds of intense suffering and hard work; but freedom without subjection can simply destroy us: Trouble in Paradise.

Marina Otero Verzier
Katía Truijen
Amal Alhaag, Beatriz Colomina, Marten Kuijpers, Victor Muñoz Sanz, Simone C. Niquille, Mark Wigley
Jane Chew and Matthew Stewart, Northscapes Collective (Hamed Khosravi, Taneha K. Bacchin and Filippo laFleur), Noam Toran, Giuditta Vendrame, Paolo Pattelli, Liam Young.
Raphael Coutin, Marina Otero Verzier
Hans Gremmen
Christiane Bosman, Eveline Mulckhuyse
Simone C. Niquille
Nick Axel
Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science Creative Industries Fund NL Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in Rome, Italy

With the title WORK, BODY, LEISURE the 2018 Dutch Pavilion addresses the spatial configurations, living conditions, and notions of the human body engendered by disruptive changes in labor ethos and conditions.